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Post Divorce Dating; Daunting or Refreshing?

For many, the question of How to divorce is the hardest question they will ever ask themselves.  Although this is only one blogger’s personal opinion, marriage is about mutual trust, love, and respect.  If there is no desire from one person or the other to improve upon the lacking areas, then the vows have already been broken, and the contract that bound a couple is null and void.  It may sound overly cause-and-effect, but sometimes that is what’s needed to make the decision that’s truly in your best interest.

Online dating is a great way to ease into the process of meeting new people.  Too often, we fall into the trap of “I’ve been with this person for so long, I can’t leave now,” and this reasoning is precisely why someone should leave now, rather than wait.  The more time we spend hoping things will change, the more we buy into this reasoning.  Worse yet, there’s less time that could be spent with the person that you were meant to be with.  In a lot of ways, it is like the gambler who spends all his money thinking, “I’ve already lost so much money–I’m bound to win soon!”

For some, it is the fear that they won’t find someone else, and that they will be doomed to a life of loneliness and a house full of cats for the rest of their lives.  Obviously, this isn’t true, and there are a lot of dating sites like match.com and eharmony.com that do offer plenty of opportunities to find someone who better fits your needs and your personality.  Forcing something is rarely the right choice, and a marriage is no different.  It should be a natural, comfortable fit that fills you with joy at the thought of a life together, not dread and resentment.  Marriage is supposed to be a joyous union, a joining of souls, that improves the quality of life for both people involved.

No one in their right mind signs up to be a mental, emotional, or physical punching bag for the other person.  If this is a prolonged pattern, then the timing for when to divorce has long since passed, and clearly the respect and love needed for a functional marriage is not there, nor is there much hope of change.  There is absolutely no reason why you should sell yourself short and consign yourself to a life of misery and fear.  At the very worst, the current pattern ends, and there is hope for a new beginning.

Dating divorced men and women is different in that these people have had to make that same hard choice, but knew that it was necessary and perhaps may be able to find a common bond.  There are plenty of people out there that had to go through the process, but made it to the other side and found new lives for themselves.  Now, it is your turn.  If you’ve been thinking of giving divorce dating a try, then that in and of itself is a sign that things are not looking too good.

Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules For Parents On Divorce

 

Divorces can be messy, and when children are involved, especially those under the age of 5, it can become even messier to say the least. Before filing for divorce, parents typically struggle to find a happy medium in order to decide what’s best for their children in times of dissolution. Sometimes the children are the ones that have the answers, no matter how young.

In a new HBO documentary entitled, Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules For Parents On Divorce, produced by Rosie O’Donnell, kids give off the cuff and uncanny divorce advice to their parents, all of whom are in the divorce process or have recently gone through a divorce. By combining candid interviews, drawings, songs and photos, this insightful film gives kids a chance to share poignant stories of how divorce has impacted their lives, and offer helpful advice to their parents. The film is scheduled to air on September, 20th at  6:30pm.

The film is unique in that it’s a first in seeing, hearing and trying to understand divorce from the side of the children, who unfortunately often get left in the dark on most of the “adult” decisions being made. Divorce affects children in a number of ways, especially those children who are young and still developing mentally. The children who are interviewed vary in age from five to ten years old, giving the film a broad spectrum of knowledge and understanding on the situation, as well as varying responses to the same questions. These young children tell their stories to remind parents that divorce and the resulting splitting of time, home and family is hard on them, but there are ways to make things better.

It’s so easy to forget that divorce affects so many people in so many different ways. If we learn anything from this film and the unbiased pure remarks from the children involved, it’s that approaching the situation with poise, calm and respect is the key.

Divorce is no walk in the park and so why not do all you can as an adult to make the situation as smooth and stress free as possible? The film also explores different ways in which parents can come to mutual agreements on things like child custody and support, money, houses and other assets. Take a different approach to divorce, for years, children have been left in the dark and out in the cold. Do not take their youth for granted, many children are astute to the ongoings of adult relationships, and can sometimes offer the best words of wisdom and reason. If anything, this movie should open your eyes and make you ask yourself, “am I handling this situation to the best of my ability, and am I thinking of my children in the process?”

Divorce Procedure 101: How to File for Divorce in Texas

 

One of the most frequently asked questions among those looking to file for divorce is “how do i go about starting the process?”  Each state has different requirements and laws to abide by in the process. In the Lone Star State of Texas, the procedure has a number of steps to properly complete filing for divorce. This blog will break down the steps in simple easy to understand points to assist you in the procedure.

Paperwork

First, the Petitioner, otherwise known as the filing spouse, files an Original Petition for Divorce with their local court. Once a petition is filed,  Texas divorce papers will be issued to the petitioner. Then the papers must be personally served to the Respondent, or the other Spouse in question. If needed, at the initial filing, either spouse may request a restraining order if the court deems it necessary.

Waiting for the Judge

Commonly, the court will also consider temporary orders, which will be in effect while the divorce is pending. Temporary orders usually involve temporary use of property and servicing of debt. It can include temporary spousal support and the payment of interim attorney’s fees as well. It is important to have all proper divorce documentation when attending the initial filing as Texas courts are legally inclined to ask for all proof of assets or debts. The process known as “Discovery” can also occur during this time. This is where both parties must exchange copies of all documents, this can be done between spouses or between legal council.

Settlement Procedures

Texas divorce courts always try to settle divorce matters with as little in court sessions as possible. Therefore, once all documents have been exchanged the spouses discuss settlement of the case, either directly or with the help of attorneys or mediators. If they can work out an agreement on everything, one of the spouses or attorneys will prepare an Agreed Decree of Divorce, which will contain all of the terms of the agreement. The spouses and their attorneys sign it, and eventually the judge does as well. however, if a mutual agreement cannot be concluded, a trial date will be set to have the matters handled in court.

Mediation

Texas Law requires spouses to participate in mediation if they absolutely cannot come to an agreement and a trial is put into effect. Mediation is an informal process allowing the divorcing couple to work with a neutral third party, usually a court appointed therapist or counselor, to negotiate and settle all terms of their conflict. Then if mediation is not successful, the trial will take place. A Final Decree of Divorce is then drawn up by the courts. This contains the ruling passed down in the trial, and the rules and stipulations that both parties must adhere to.

The process can be swift and relatively easy or the exact opposite, all dependent on both parties and their willingness to cooperate with one another and the courts. There is a small amount of paperwork that must be completed in full in order to get the ball rolling on the filing. It is always important to be fully ready for the process that takes place, as divorce proceedings usually take on average, of 6 months to complete.

Omit at Your Own Cost in the State of Oregon

 

The distribution of assets during a divorce is imminent in the majority of cases. Also in a majority of cases comes the wave of hurt, disappointment and distrust. So what do you do if you think that a spouse is concealing assets during the settlement process? Sometimes individuals are curious about their obligations to disclose assets in divorce. There are many discovery tools available to lawyers to help discover assets a party may own, so it’s never a good idea for anyone to intentionally conceal anything during a divorce. There are also serious ethical consequences for lawyers that assist clients in concealing assets during divorce. Every state has its own varying laws and statutes on this particular matter but Oregon has a finite list of rules to follow in regards to assets.

Oregon Law

Under Oregon Divorce Law ORS 107.452, that states “A court that entered a judgment of marital annulment, dissolution or separation shall reopen the case upon the motion of either party if the moving party alleges that significant assets belonging to either or both of the parties:(a) Existed at the time of the entry of the judgment; and (b) Were not discovered until after the entry of the judgment. However, If the assets were accidentally or inadvertently omitted from the distribution,the court will divide the asset using the same legal standard as if the asset were discovered prior to the divorce. The court will determine whether or not the assets were omitted purposely or accidentally depending on the evidence provided, and this varies on a case to case basis.

Penalties & Distributions

Now, If the court does find evidence of intentional concealment, it can and will, do a number of different things such as:

  • Demand and order a division of the appreciated value of the omitted assets
  • Award the forfeiture of the omitted assets to the injured party (the spouse who had assets concealed from them)
  • Put in place a compensatory judgment in favor of the injured party
  • Order judgment in favor of the injured party as punitive damages; or any other distribution as may be just and proper in all the circumstances.

It is highly important that when going through a divorce, all of the proper paperwork is filled out, all assets, debts and properties are recorded and anything else that you feel may be pertinent to your case, be brought up and documented. No matter how big, or how small you may think the issue is. As you can see, some of the repercussions for not openly displaying everything up front can be harsh. These divorce laws in Oregon are just a few that can drastically and dramatically affect a divorce. Know all information and laws before really delving into anything, just as with being informed on anything, research is key.

Prominent Novelist Offers Reflective insight on Divorce

 

Divorces can be intensely personal. The breakdown of something design for happiness for ever can feel like a weight on one’s life and past decisions. The reality of a family breaking apart, the process and the attempt at the next phase after divorce can be a draining period in one’s life. For those gifted with the skill of writing this can become a rich area for reflection. Memoirs often encompass periods of tragedy, delving into one’s own personal failures and low points allows all of us to relate to the natural ebb and flow of ups and downs that personal choices can bring.

Recently, prominent British author Rachel Cusk released a memoir book chronicling her recent marriage and subsequent break up. She is well known throughout the UK and has had fiction as well as prominent non-fiction works published. This recent memoir titled Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation deals with her reflections on her marriage, separation and divorce, having 2 children, and how to move forward.

Displaying the personal for the world

Rachel Cusk’s first personal memoir published in 2003 chronicled her personal experience into motherhood. Writing a brutally honest reflective piece she became a target for backlash calling her “petty”, “self-absorbed” and a bad mother. It became a staple of honest motherhood books and was subsequently copied by many other women.

It can be a daunting thing putting ones personal life to the public, especially when it has to do with doubt, failure, and personal hurt. Her new memoir chronicling the breakdown of her marriage, separation and divorce offers another raw glimpse into a deep reflective thinker as she trudges through a familiar painful process.

Relate-able pains

Obviously slanted through the female prospective, “Aftermath” and books like it can provide a deeply relate-able example to other mothers that go through the divorce process. Aftermath deals deep emotional issues, depression and Cusk’s thought on feministic ideas throughout family relationship, through her own eyes. Her questioning nature and self doubt, even as a highly educated and successful women, can serve as an example for women questioning their past, present, and future when considering or even just entering into the divorce process. Everyone feels some sense of comfort when we know there are others struggling with the same serious issues in their life. Regardless of professional critiques of Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation, the introspective nature of Cusk’s writing, as raw and unabashed as it is can potentially be the kind of personal crutch that recently divorced women need to let them know they truly are not alone with their worry and fears after something as emotional trying as divorce.

Harboring sorrow and guilt over personal situations such as divorce is natural. Many divorced couples often seek therapy individually. Having a relate-able objective person to listen can go a long way in easing the psychological pains that can often permeate a person’s mind after an emotional split of a family. We can often find relief in the literary pages of other people’s similar situations. We hear stats about how thousands of couples are divorced every year, yet the divorce process can seem so constricted within one’s own world. Divorce is common enough where support groups, message boards, and friends in a circle should be able to help support someone going through a divorce. Being there for someone can mean infinitely more to them then they may realize.

The Dilemma of Divorce and Only Children

 

The prototypical nuclear family used to consist of 2 kids and 2 decimal points of a third child…

Post World War 2 and during the baby boom era, large families were encouraged and an accepted part of the American society. Our culture, from TV shows to advertising was built around the dynamic of the family. As the 1960’s and 70’s came and went, we saw this dynamic drastically change.

Women’s equality had a trickle-down effect that changed more than just work and marriage. The residual effect of a more progressive society has had a direct correlation on how we think of defining a modern family. Within the past 35 years, as of 2004, the amount of only-child families has almost doubled. The U.S. Census Bureau has not kept detailed information about the nature of how or why the number of only-child families has increased, whether by choice or circumstance. There are currently 20 million single-child families in the U.S. The percentage of American women having only one child has more than doubled in 20 years, to almost one quarter. The single-child family is the fastest-growing family in the U.S. As the divorce rates have risen as well in the single child family. what effects does this have on the child? And what can you do to help?

Easing the emotional stress

Any only child will feel grief stricken during the breakup of the family triangle. Along with this emotional schism will be the adaptation to a totally different routine. Only children have no peer or close sibling to lean on. As parents in this situation, there is no clear cut way to best handle the divorce process with only children.  There are ways to help emotionally ease only children that are entering into the sometimes harsh reality of a now fractured close knit family.

Prepare the child

It is often advised that parents break the news to children together rather than one parent doing it separately. This is especially true in the case of only children.  Explaining together that this decision was mutual and a tough one to make will help the child understand that even though separating, the family is all going through this together. Keeping the family in the same room talking about a major decision like this will emphasize that even though there will be a change in living situation, both parents are still equally and fully apart of the child’s life.

Building the predictable routine

Understandably an only child’s routine will go through a period of change and adjustment. The age of the child will dictate the varying degree of emotional adjustments and problems the child may go through. Attempting to add any instances of routine and predictability to these new situations will help ease the child into a new life style, while still keeping the same values as if the parents still lived under one house. Also maintaining certain habits in the only child’s routine will help with a sense of comfort-ability and familiarity.

Be prepared for questions

The individual age and maturity of an only child will dictate the level of questions, but make no mistake children; especially only children will have questions. Taking the time to fully explain and answer your child’s questions can help assuage the fears of the unknown that may be swirling around in the child’s head. There can also be the mistake of only child parents leaning on their children in times like these. Parents can sometimes treat the only children as more of an equal then they should transferring some of their own fears to a child who may not be mature enough to emotional handle a certain level of stress

Families with an only child can often be seem close knit, even if the parents in essence do not have a happy marriage. The potential effects of a divorce on an only child can be more detrimental in only children. The impact of divorces can be seen resonating throughout many different facets of an only child’s life and for years down the road. Being prepared as a parent with an only child can help soften the blow, remember these children do not have an equal counterpart in the family to lean on in situations where they might feel they cannot go to their parents. Older brothers and sisters sometimes substitute as pseudo parents especially for budding adolescents, but only children have only outward experiences and contacts to learn and lean on. Protecting the blow that divorce can cause will help only children remember that even though apart, their parents will always be there for them.

The Future of Marriage: Roles, Contracts, and Divorce

 

Our belief in marriage and its value stems from, for most of us, a very religious background. The hypocritical nature of all the swirling modern facets of marriage has led some to contemplate other options. The rise of divorce, same-sex marriage, and the redefining of traditional roles in a modern relationship only heightens the contradictory and hypocrisy of still trying to define marriage in traditional archaic terms. Pardon the following pop culture reference but it serves as a jumping off point to a more subtle yet possible ground breaking shift that the future of marriage may one day find itself firmly entrenched in.

Contractual Nuptials

Take Katie Holmes and Tom Cruises whole scenario: Marriage, kids, divorce, rumors, etc. A specific rumor recently popping up when talking about their divorce alludes to the very real possibility that Katie Holmes signed a 5 year marriage contract. Forget for a moment the mysterious black spot that is Scientology and whatever that has to do with could and focus on the marriage contract aspect of it. It’s a fact of life that Hollywood celebrities and the rich in general exist under a different code of rules and boundaries then the average middle class family. But the proposition of marriage contracts is not that far fetched.

Marriage contracts, after all are not something conjured up form pure fantasy, we have shadowy forms of agreements that mostly have to do with someone’s possessions and their ownership when entering into a marriage. But along with pre-nuptial agreements, should we be thinking about a paradigm shift in the way marriage is defined and applied? In a realistic sense the idea of a contractual marriage or any other pre-determined agreement about the possible split of a union is not something that should be scoffed at. In New Mexico just last year considered the idea of implementing 2 year renewable marriage contracts, set with defined provisions about the potential splitting of assets and custody of children if there was a divorce. After 2 years if the couple was happy they could renew their marriage contract, if not the contract would simply end. It breaks all our stained glass romantic thinking that has been embedded into the fabric of what we traditionally expect in a partnership with the opposite sex. (Or same sex depending on your sexual preference)

Climate Change?

Consider for a moment the cliff upon which traditional marriage sits upon in this technology driven society. The very definition of marriage and traditional gender roles has been a hotly contested topic for the last decade; and with the social views of society swaying towards more progressive lines of thinking a prognosticator would not be a fool to project the overall legalization of gay marriage is inevitable.

Economic reasons also have a lot to do with the changing in marriage climate. Couples are waiting longer than ever before getting married as the average age for both men and women has hit all-time highs.  28.7 average age of first marriages for men and 26.5 in women. In the same respect there seems to be a growing gap in marriage that is similar to the economic gap in the United States. The more educated and older you are when you marry the more likely you are to stay together. The less educated and earlier that marry are more likely to eventually file for divorce.

So what will become of marriage? We often overreact as a society, taking the needle of the future to the extreme realm of eventual possibilities. More than likely we will continue stagger through the contradictory nature of using historic rules and ideas to define and continually changing faction. Our human emotions would not become any less responsive just because the judicial and legal definition of marriage and how it is experienced is changed. For those on both sides of the fence when it comes to the debate around marriage the battle will be ongoing. To try and change something that crosses over so many aspects of our nature would be met with only more mutinous and heated debates. What is clear is that half of marriages do not work, what is never clear is why we are so always so vehemently resistant to change where it is clearly needed.

Divorce and the Military: What You Need to Know

 

We constantly look with respect towards our military personnel. Some of these brave men and women sacrifice everything to protect the very rights and freedoms we hold dear in this great nation. We often forget that after, before, and during their active duty, these men and women also juggle personal lives. Relationships, finances, and happiness are not put on hold while they serve our country.

There are also many factions of the military, having a family while being an active member or stationed somewhere can be a strain on one’s life. Being in a faction of the military adds extra rules and restrictions to a person’s life. When it comes to divorce in the military there may be some stipulations different from regular citizenship. Knowing your situation and how the divorce process pertains to it will help ease this stressful process.

Residency Requirements and the USFSPA

Legally speaking, divorce applies the same way it does to any other non-military citizen. However, when it comes to residency issues when applying for divorce, many states will relax some of the residency requirements and stipulations allowing for active military personnel that are stationed around the country and remote places to file for a divorce in the place they are stationed.

Besides knowing the divorce process, military couples should understand and be knowledgeable about the United Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). This s a federal stature implemented for military personal that is a guide for potential divorce couples that have either one, or both, members in the military. It says that the divorcing spouses should look to accept the state’s specific divorce rulings and laws on specific issues in the dissolution of a marriage. Mainly child support, spousal support, and military/retirement pension plans. One important USFSPA stature is that, while states have always viewed retirement and pension plans as like any other marital asset, the USFSPA allows states to classify military retirement pay as property instead of income.

Pensions and Retirement: How Military Benefits are Handled in Divorce

Retirement payments through the military are paid directly through the Defense Accounting and Finance Service. For an ex-spouse to be eligible to receive retirement payments, the couple must have been married 10 years combined with an overlapping 10 years of military service. For example, if a couple have been married 14 years and 8 of those years either of the spousal parties have served in the military, then the ex-spouse would not be eligible to receive retirement payments.

Another situation to watch for is how different states view the amount of time a marriage has been deemed to last. Depending on the states view of when the dissolution of a marriage happened, it may change the length of official time your marriage has lasted for and, consequently, could possibly change what benefits you or your spouse are eligible for. However, not being eligible for direct payment as an ex-spouse does not necessarily mean you may not be entitled to a portion. Throughout the divorce proceedings, an agreement can be reached by the divorcing parties to divide a retirement/pension. Usually the awarding of retirement military pay may be in addition to child support or spousal support.

No matter the external situation in a couple’s life, divorce can cause major upheaval. With so many specific laws pertaining to where you are and how long you have been married, it is important to know the rules and regulations that may influence your divorce. At MyDivorceDocuments, we can provide insightful information to help you understand exactly what challenges, legal or otherwise you could possibly face throughout the divorce process. Visit www.mydivorcedocuments.com today and arm yourself with the knowledge that can lessen your stress about going through the divorce process.

California’s Most Misunderstood Divorce Laws

 

The ins and outs of any law can be detailed and confusing to anyone, especially anyone not practicing law. Therefore there are a bounty of misconceptions that come along with understanding any law. When these laws involve divorce, they can become infinitely more difficult to navigate and properly understand. Anything from property, assets, debts, child custody, alimony and more, are typically involved in divorce filing and proceedings. In California, the laws are just as hard to understand as anywhere else in the U.S. This being said, it is one of the states that has the most people confused about certain laws and asking the most questions. For that reasons, here are the top 5 questions asked in reference to divorce Laws in the Golden State, answered and debunked.

If we have a joint account that has occurred debt but my name is not on the credit card,  do I owe this debt incurred during marriage?

Marriages are seen as business partnerships under the law. The old adage, “what’s yours is mine” rings true for this frequently asked question. You can ultimately be held accountable for the debts that either spouse incurred during the marriage. This legal rule is put into effect in this manner because it in turn protects creditors from a spouse claiming that the debt acquired during the marriage belongs to the other person and not to them. If the debt was incurred while married, it does not matter whose name is listed on the credit cards.

If we have equal custody, does child support still need to be paid?

When parents share custody of children, even if the court has mandated that the custody is 50/50, child support can be ordered by the court. Gross incomes of both parties and actual timeshare of the child have the biggest impact on this decision. If the incomes of the parents are not almost equally matched, there will be some kind of child support exposure for the greater earner.

How long should I wait until I get remarried?

It is imperative that you get a court to issue a judgment that terminates your marital status before you pursue anything as far as another legal marriage. The earliest you can terminate your marriage and be returned to the status of a single person is 6 months from the date a filed divorce  petition is served on the other spouse and no sooner.

If either of us remarry, does the child support amount increase or decrease?

The simple answer to this question is that the income of a new spouse or partner of a parent obligated to pay support cannot be used as a factor to reduce child support.

Do you have to be married for at least 10 years to get a part of your ex-spouse’s pension rights?

Any of the earnings that are acquired from the date of marriage to the date of separation is considered community property. This means that under the law, all money acquired and used towards retirement benefits, pensions, profit sharing and stocks, will be community.  The length of marriage has no bearing on your right to the community property acquired from date of marriage to date of separation. The moment you are legally married, is when those rights go into effect.

There are a number of other questions that are commonly asked when California divorce is brought into question, however these ones are some of the top questions that are often misconstrued when answered. Hopefully these condensed answers have helped you with any questions or concerns you may have. Remember, your local courthouse that specializes in family law, will always be able to help you with these types of questions or concerns.

Montana Divorce Law: the Declaration of Invalidity

A declaration of invalidity is used in family law to declare a marriage void, essentially declaring that the marriage lacks an element required for a legal union. Montana Divorce Law allows that a marriage may be declared invalid if specific circumstances concerning the marriage are shown to exist. These circumstances must be proven in a court of law. As a general rule, a marriage can be declared invalid if the circumstances of the consent to enter a marriage are shown to be lacking. A Montana court can also declare a marriage to be invalid if the marriage is prohibited by law.

Divorce Law as it Relates in Montana

Law 40-1-402 under the Family Law Statute in the state of Montana, clearly outlines the specifics in order to obtain a court to sign off on a declaration of invalidity in a marriage. The written decree, goes into all of the possible ways in which this invalidity must be shown and thus will be granted by the courts. There are over 16 stipulations in which a couple qualifies, however, they all have sub sections that weed out any couples who do not. Invalidity is not as common as a common grounds divorce, due to these small minute details.

Stipulations in a Nutshell

Of these multiple rules and small addendum’s, they can be comprised under a few easy to read categories, as such.
If one party to a marriage lacks consent, or lacks the ability to consent to the marriage at the time that the marriage occurred, a court may declare a marriage invalid. A person may lack the ability to consent to a marriage because of mental incapacity or illness or if the person is under the influence of an incapacitating substances at the time of the marriage. Once again, proof of this must be had, otherwise the courts will not consent to the invalidity.

A person also lacks consent if he or she was induced to enter into a marriage by force or duress or by fraud. If a person lacks the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse, and at the time that the marriage was entered into, the other party did not know of the incapacity, the marriage may also be declared invalid.

The Marriage of Minors

If a person is under 16 years of age, or if a person was 16 or 17 years of age and that person did not have the consent of the party’s parents or the approval of a district court judge the appropriate consent to bind a person to marriage is also lacking.

A marriage is prohibited under Montana law if:

  • One of the parties is presently married to someone else;
  • The parties are brother and a sister, or otherwise related by the half or the whole blood, or the parties are first cousins;
  • The parties are related as an uncle and a niece or between an aunt and a nephew; or,
  • The marriage is between persons of the same sex.

Always be sure that when you are filing for invalidity of a marriage, particularly in the state of Montana, you know all of the criteria to qualify. Not doing so can lead to unnecessary fees and filing of paperwork that isn’t needed. Be informed and be prepared.